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Wouter Paap  Dutch composer, harpsichord player and writer on music

Utrecht, 07.05.1908 - Utrecht, 08.10.1981

In many books Paap is described as an autodidact, but this could only - to some degree - be said in his capacity as composer. His first teacher was Hester Wegerif and in 1926 he received piano lesson at the Royal Dutch Society of Musicians where he took his final exams. 
One year later he
passed the final examination of the Jan van Nassau Kweekschool (a teacher's training college) and began to work as a teacher and a journalist, but eventually took up residence in Utrecht as a music teacher - for a short time at the School for Roman Catholic Church Music and at the Rotterdam Conservatorium
Paap also worked as a music critic and wrote articles about music for various papers and periodicals and was widely known for his lectures and radio talks. He was also editor in chief of the music periodical Mens en Melodie (Man and Melody) and published numerous writings on music
f.ex. some fine biographies of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Bruckner and Toscanini and a book on modulation.
His own compositions include a Sinfonietta (1938), Passacaglia (1943) both for orchestra; : Studentenmuziek (1948) for string orchestra and Guirlanden van muziek (1951); Muziek ter bruiloft (Wedding music) for tenor and orchestra (1945); Drukkunst (The art of printing) for narrator and orchestra (1940); Sterre der Zee (Star of the sea) for chorus and orchestra (1937); Sonatine (1944) and Nocturne (1947) for piano; compositions for carillon; song cycles: 5 Minneliederen on mediaeval poems (1944) and 5 Liederen rond de Muiderkring (1956).  

Danse Gauche  1964 (Donemus)

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(Christian Georg) Paul Pabst  German teacher, pianist and composer

Königsberg, 27.05.1854 - Moscau, 09.07.1897

Pabst was born into a family of very gifted musicians and became a pupil of Liszt. After returning to Königsberg he had the good luck to meet Anton Rubinstein when he came to this town in the capacity of cultural supervisor of the musical activities there. Pabst subsequently was invited to move to Moscau in 1878 - already an accomplished virtuoso and on the invitation of Anton Rubinstein's brother, Nikolai he became teacher at the Moscau Conservatory the same fall. 
Among his admirer were Tchaikovsky who requested Pabst to finger his first piano concerto in B-flat as did Arensky with his concerto of which Pabst played the premiere. He also performed his own piano concerto the score of which has only recently been discovered. It was lost following its first performances in St Petersburg and Moscow, Pabst, who died tragically at the age of 43 in Moscow on 9 June 1897. was one of the greatest pianists of his day, admired even by the great Franz Liszt. He and the young Sergej Rachmaninoff performed many concerts together. Both Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov dedicated works to Past. He was in illustrious company, and this is reflected in his Piano Concerto, the only work for full orchestra to be composed by him. It is an exquisite romantic work in three movements, lasting 33 minutes, full of wonderful tunes and a fiendishly difficult but lyrical solo part. 120 years after its premiere, Pabst's Lost Concerto was performed and recorded at a concert given in Minsk on 19 April 2005, and at last takes its rightful place among the great romantic musical works of the nineteenth century. Pabst’s piano transcriptions were loved by the most outstanding pianists of the time, and were considered to be on a par with those by the great Liszt himself. In 1885 he wrote his only orchestral work, the Piano Concerto in E-flat major.  with PABST as soloist, and with the great Anton Rubinstein conducting. 

(Etude for the Left Hand on Famous Themes)  (V. Gross)
Dedicated to Alexander Siloti (Rachmaninoff's cousin and brilliant pianist), This etude is not a genuine left hand work - as many assume. It is for both hands but all the difficulties are placed in in the left hand. Many have asked why I call this site.. for the left hand alone. This is a typical example since many works like Pabst, Tchaikovsky and other have the words for the left hand assigned to them - but they are not for the left hand alone - but only for compositions with all the difficulties placed in the left hand. This hand is a major problem for many pianists and the great Josef Lhévinne pointed out

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(No portrait)

 

M. Paloverde

Born: ?

Left Hand Facility  (Presser)

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Albert Ross Parsons  American pianist, teacher, organist and composer

Sandusky, Ohio, 16.09.1847 - Mt. Kisco, N.Y, 14.06.1933

Parsons came from a very musical family (one of his ancestors, John Parsons was organist in Westminster Abbey, London) and Albert Ross - belonging by ancestry to the Society of the the  Sons of the Revolution was very early destined to a musical career. When he was four years old a visitor brought a guitar into the family and this seems to be his first musical experience. Two years after he received his first piano lessons (1854) with R. Denton and his first public appearance came two years later in Buffalo at the age of nine. In fact it was a standing performance because he was still too small to reach the pedal when he sat on the bench.
When the family moved to Indianapolis in 1858 Parsons officiated in one of the local churches as organist but the only teacher to be found there pronounced him too advanced for instruction. Thus it was decided that he should have a more thorough education. So in New York he studied with Dr. Frederic Louis Ritter (piano, harmony and counterpoint) until he in 1867 went to Europe and enrolled at the Leipzig Conservatory where his teachers were Ignaz Moscheles, Carl Reinecke, Papperitz, Oscar Paul, E. F. Richter and Ferdinand David. In 1870 he entered the Pianists' High School to study with the Liszt pupil Carl Tausig, Ehlert and Weitzmann and from 1970 (after Tausig's death) at the New Academy of Music with Theodore Kullak. Through this time he made personal contact with Richard Wagner, Franz Liszt and Hans von Bülow.
In Germany he devoted much attention to aesthetics, philosophy, metaphysics and theology as well as to the translation of works from German into English.
Since his return to America in 1872 he was prominently connected with musical affairs in New York City and contributed largely to musical literature. He was at one time editor of Benham's Review and his translation of Wagner's philosophical study, entitled Beethoven was considered a masterpiece. Among his other works were The Science of Piano Practice, The Principles of Expression Applied to the Pianoforte and Teaching Reforms, Teaching Reforms, a translation of Kullak's Edition 0f Chopin's Piano Compositions, Hollander's Edition of Schumann's Piano Works and Parsifal; Finding Christ through Musical Art or Wagner as a Theologian.
Among his compositions are Night has Thousand Eyes, Break, Break, Te Deum and numerous songs.
Parsons was a member of Episcopal Church, New York, Genealogical and Bibliographical Society, vice president of and director of the Pianoforte Department, Metropolitan College of Music, New York City, foundation member, incorporator, examiner and fellow of American College of Music -  and from 1885 to 1894 he was organist of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church.

Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church
at the time of Parson's tenure..

(Solfeggietto in C minor by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach; revised, fingered and arranged)  1885 (Schirmer)

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Ernst Pauer  Austrian pianist, teacher and composer.

Vienna, 21.12.1826 - Jugenheim nr. Darmstadt, 09.05.1905

Pauer's father was superintendent-general of the Lutheran Churches of the Austrian Empire and his mother came from the Streicher-family of piano makers in Vienna, with whom Beethoven was associated.
Ernst had a thorough education in the art of piano playing - first under Theodor Dirzka and later under Mozart's youngest son Franz Xaver Mozart (1791-1844) . As teacher of harmony and counterpoint he had Simon Sechter (1788-1867), who also was Bruckner's teacher and finally he took lessons from Franz Lachner (1803-1890) in dramatic composition and instrumentation.
  

Franz Xaver Mozart

Simon Sechter

Franz Lachner

His first major job was as director of the Musical Societies at Mainz - a post he held for four years producing and having published several of his own operas - but after that he decided to for a concert tour to England. This decision became a turning point in his career, since he simply conquered London - even - daringly presenting himself to the public right after the same people had heard Adolf Henselt play. But he was capable, right away, of winning over the public and critics to a rare extent. His playing was described as magnificent, perfect in technique, brilliant, passionate - pouring out all shades of emotions. He managed to convince the Londoners he could have any sort of career before him he might elect to choose. And it was teaching he chose and soon he was a much sought-after teacher - one of his student was in fact his own son - Max Pauer who became a pianist of very high rank. 

  Max  Pauer 
(1866 -1945)

Besides this he gave numerous recitals - among them in 1861 six of historical nature - (just like Anton Rubinstein's) - that was six recitals demonstrating the development of piano playing from c.1600 to modern times.
In 1870 Pauer succeeded Cipriano Potter as teacher at the Royal Academy of Music and with the foundation of the National Training School for Music in 1876 he became principal professor of piano playing. Two years later he joined the Board for Musical Studies at the Cambridge University and during all this time he published admirable and inexpensive editions of many works by classical and romantic composers as well as publishing many educational works of his own. 

The Culture of the Left hand  1907 (Augener)
This work is in four volumes of which nr. 3 is for both hands - but with special emphasis on the left. The other three volumes are for the left hand alone.

Suite (E flat) pour la main gauche op 72  1890 (Augener)

12 Etudes caracteristiques pour la main gauche op. 73  1892 (Augener)

c

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(No portrait) Ruth Perdew 

xxx

xxx

Glacier Range  (Alfred Publishing)

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George Perle  American composer

Bayonne, USA, 06.05.1915 - New York City, 23.01.2009

Perle got his first education in Chicago and after graduation he studied composition with Wesley La Violette, and subsequent private studies with Ernst Krenek, Perle served in the US Army during World War II. After the War, he took post-graduate work in musicology at New York University. His Ph.D. thesis became his first book, Serial Composition and Atonality, now in its sixth edition.
Among his most important compositions are: Serenade III (1983) for solo piano and chamber orchestra, Woodwind Quintet No.4, Piano Concerto No.2 (1992), Transcendental Modulations for Orchestra, commissioned by the New York Philharmonic for its 150th anniversary; and Thirteen Dickinson Songs (1978) commissioned by Bethany Beardslee.
Though Perle is above all a composer, the breadth of his musical interests has led to significant contributions in theory and musicology as well. He has published numerous articles in scholarly journals and seven books. He is Professor Emeritus at the City University of New York.

Musical offerings for piano, left hand alone  (2000) (Galaxy)

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(No portrait)

 

Herman Perlet  

Eire, PA, 22.01.1863 - San Francisco, 08.01.1916 

Lived in the Bay Area from 1908 to 1916 and was conductor of the Peoples Philharmonic Orchestra in San Francisco.

Dance grace op. 15 nr. 3  1911 (Whitmark & Sons)

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(No portrait)

 

Pierre Perny  

1824 - 

Surprise; Mélodie op. 78 (Milan: Ricordi)

Quartour de Lucia di Lammermoor (Quartet written over the sextet from Donizetti's opera ) op. 81  1848 (Ricordi)

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(No portrait)

 

Darrell Peter  

Pawnee, Oklahoma, 1918 - 

Prelude in E minor  1960 (Art Publishing Society)

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Felix Petyrek  Austrian pianist, and composer

Brno, 14.05.1892 - Vienna, 01.12.1951

Petyrek got his first instruction in piano playing and composition from his father who was an organist ad choral conductor. When his family moved to Vienna he entered the University to study the history of music with Guido Adler and at the same time enrolled at the Academy as  a master-class pupil of both Leopold Godowsky and Emil von Sauer (piano) and Franz Schreker (composition).

Franz Schreker
(1878 – 1934)

After this he divided his time between that of a composer and concert pianist and that of teacher: first at the Salzburg Mozarteum, in 1921 he taught in the orchestral class at the Berlin High School for Music and from 1926 he was appointed professor of the master-class for piano at the Odeon in Athens.
Four years later he was back in Germany at the Stuttgart High School for Music as teacher of piano and composition. His own compositions are marked by highly original combinations of style and techniques mixing post post-romanticism and very modern tendencies. The contrapuntal element was always very strong and he was attracted to modality and even inventing a mode himself: C-C sharp-D sharp-E-F sharp- G-A-B flat.
On one hand his compositions can be humoristic bordering on the grotesque and on the other hand deeply religious and mystical. His output is not very large but encompasses opera, incidental music, choral and orchestral works, chamber music and piano works.

Nr. 2 from: 2 Tanzstücke  
(Nr. 1 is for the right hand)

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Georges Jean Pfeiffer  French pianist and composer

Versailles, 12.12.1835 - Paris, 14.02.1908

His first music teacher was his mother who was a first class pianist of the school of Kalkbrenner, but later followed lessons in composition by Maleden and Damcke. In 1862 he had great success with his operetta Capitaine Roche and at the Paris Conservatoire concerts.
He later succeeded his father Émile Pfeiffer as a partner in the piano firm of Pleyel, Wolff et Cie, Paris. His great-uncle J. Pfeiffer had been a pioneer of piano making in Paris.
Georges Pfeiffer's compositions include a symphony, chamber music (a quintet, trios and sonatas) concertos, the symphonic poem Jeanne d'Arc, the oratorio Agar and an ouverture to Corneille's Cid. Besides he composed a great deal of piano music (som important studies) and the operas L'Enclume (1884) and Le Légataire universel(1901).

Grande transcription brillante (Miserere from Verdi's Il Trovatore) op. 16  (Bote & Bock)

Photo of Pfeiffer by courtesy of the French National Library

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Isidor Philipp  French pianist and pedagogue

Budapest, 02.09.1863 - Paris, 20.02.1958 

Philipp studied at the Paris Conservatoire under Georges Amadée St. Claire Mathias (1826-1910;  himself a student of Kalkbrenner and Chopin) finishing in 1883 with the 1st pianoforte prize. At the same time he had sought further assistance from Stephen Heller, Camille Saint-Saëns and the Liszt pupil Théodore Ritter (1841-1886) and with this as his background he embarked upon a career as concert and recital pianist making appearances in most parts of Europe.
In 1890 he formed a trio with Bertholier and Loeb and he revived the Société des Instruments de Vent during the years 1896 and 1901. He was appointed professor
at the Paris Conservatoire in 1903 - a post he held for the next 31 years (being succeeded by Robert Casadesus), but in 1941 he settled in USA teaching at different institutions - first in New York and later in Montreal. From 1955 he divided his time between New York and Paris - and at this time giving his Farewell recitals at the age of 92.
Today he is almost entirely known for his educational works but beside them he has composed two orchestral works: Rêverie mélancolique and Sérénade humoristique as well as a concertino for three pianos and a suite for two pianos.  

Exercises et études technique pour le main gauche d'apres Bach, Chopin, Czerny, Kessler, Kreutzer, Mendelssohn, Schumann et Weber  (1895) (Durand)

Deux Etudes d'apres Mendelssohn  (1910) (Leduc)
(One of them is Moto perpetuo)

Six études de concert  (Hamelle)
The first five are d'après Chopin and no. 2 and 3 are: Waltz op. 64 no. 1 (The Minute Waltz) and Étude op. 25 no. 2 - see discographic note below about this - and it is also published by Musica Obscura. (The last Étude de concert is Weber's Mouvement perpétuel from his sonata op. 24)

4 Etudes d'apres Bach: 1. Prelude in E major, 2. Bourrée in B minor, 3. Presto in G minor 4. Chaconne in D minor  1903 (Augener/Fromont)
This last one is the same music as Brahms arranged, but it is a much advanced - and somewhat more difficult and the whole collection is dedicated to the Liszt pupil Moritz Rosenthal.

Moritz Rosenthal

This Minute Waltz is recorded by Fredrik Ullén along with other arrangements of this waltz by Alexander Michalowski,  Raphael Joseffy,  Moritz Moszkowski,  Max Reger,  Kaikhosru Sorabji, Leopold Godowsky,  Johannes Brahms,   Alfred Cortot,  Moritz Rosenthal, Giuseppe Ferrata,  Louis Gruenberg,  Joe Furst and of course  Frédéric Chopin's original on BIS Catalog #: 1083

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(No portrait)

 

Robert Phillips

Born: ?

Three Pieces for the Left Hand

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(No portrait)

 

Werner Eduard Pirkhert  Austrian pianist and composer

Graz, 1817 - Vienna, 28.02.1881

Himself a student of Czerny and Anton Halm (both contributors to large work Variations on a waltz by Diabelli) he became the teacher of Josef Labor
To Ernst Pauer, who was never appealed to in vain, we are indebted for the following this evaluation: "Eduard Pirkhert, born at Graz in 1817, was a pupil of Anton Halm and Carl Czerny. He was a shy and enormously diligent artist, who, however, on account of his nervousness, played, like Henselt, rarely in public. His execution was extraordinary and his tone beautiful. In 1855 he became professor at the Vienna Conservatorium." 

Thème: Etude in D flat major from 12 etudes de salon op. 10 no. 5  c.1844 (Meschetti)

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John Robert Poe  American pianist and teacher

1927 - 18.02.2004  

Poe was a well-known composer and arranger of educational keyboard music, Mr. Poe graduated Auburn University, where he studied with Hubert Liverman and Blanca Renard. In addition to private teaching, Mr. Poe taught piano and theory at Muscogee Music Conservatory, and held positions as choir director and organist for several churches in Georgia.
Mr. Poe was an active member of local, state, and national music teachers association groups and had served as an adjudicator for student festivals and competitions throughout the United States.
Most of his piano music are for educational purposes; some original and many arrangements and among the first there is a charming collection for easy piano, of pieces descriptive of various fish: The Whale, Butterfly Fish, Golden Carp, Starfish, Jelly Fish, Sea Urchin, Dragon Fish, Sting Ray and Pompano. 

Look Ma, One Hand (13 easy pieces for children)  1990 (Kjos West)
Dedicated to "Jessica - who smashed her thumb". Some of the pieces are for the left and some for the right.

Photo of John Robert Poe: The FJH Music Company Inc.

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Vladimir Ivanovich Pohl  Russian composer

Paris, 01.01.1875 - Paris, 21.06.1962

Pohl was educated first in Kiev and later at The Moscow Conservatory. From 1905 he served five years as director of the Moscow section of the Russian Music Society after which he in 1911 succeeded Rachmaninoff  as the director of the Empress Maria Music Institute in Moscow.
After the revolution he fled Russia and settled in Paris where he was on the Council of The Belaïeff Editions and professor of composition at the Russian Conservatory. Pohl was associated with the circle around George Ivanovich Gurdjieff showing interest in orient literature and Sufi music.

Valse Impromptus op. 19  no. 1   (1947) (Belaïeff)

Valse Romantique op. 19 no. 2  (1947) /Belaïeff)

Poème op. 17  (Belaïeff)

Many thanks to Sergey Moskalev for help and kind words

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(No portrait)

 

Francesco Giuseppe Pollini  Italian pianist and composer

Ljubljana, 1763 - Milan,17.09.1846

Pupil of Mozart

Exercise pour la main gauche seule

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Manuel (Maria) Ponce  Mexican pianist and composer

Fresnillo, Zacatecas, 08.12.1882 - Mexico City, 24.04.1948

Ponce showed great musical talent as a child composing his first work at the age of five while recuperating from small pox. His first real instruction in piano came from his sister and at the age of 
22 he had already quite a career behind him as church organist, piano teacher and music critic.
But in 1905 he sold his piano and sailed for Europe to study. His first stop was Italy where he studied composition with Enrico Bossi at Bologna and later he went to Berlin to study piano with Martin Krause. By 1908 he ran out of funds and returned to Mexico where he was appointed teacher of piano and musical history at the National Conservatory in Mexico City.
But since he still felt he needed further education he returned to Europe in 1925 to become pupil of Paul Dukas in Paris together with Joaquin Rodrigo and Heitor Villa-Lobos.
His own compositions began to appear already when Ponce was eighteen years and they became very popular for their Mexican rhythms and colours. Later - after his studies in Europe - they began to show a more polyphonic and harmonic complexity - but he kept the local inspiration though now mixed with impressionistic harmonies. 

Malgré tout (A pasar de Toda), Danza (Dance; In spite of everything)  1900 (Repertorio Musical Menzel)

Prelude and Fugue  1948 (Editorial Cooperativa Inter-Americana)

Both pieces has been recorded by David Witten: Marco Pole 8.223609

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(No portrait)

 

Frank Addison Porter  American composer

1859

Étude melodique op. 33  1922 (Boston Music)

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Francis Pott  English composer, pianist and teacher

Born: Wallingford, Oxfordshire, 25.08.1957

Pott studied with Robin Holloway and Hugh Wood holding open scholarships at Winchester College and Magdalene College, Cambridge while also pursuing piano studies as a private pupil of Hamish Milne in London. For many years he was lecturer in Music at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, till he was appointed administrative Head of Music at London College of Music & Media in 2000. Subsequently he became Head of both Composition and Research Development in Music, Media and Creative Technologies. He was also a member of Winchester Cathedral Choir under David Hill from 1991 until 2001.
Pott has received many national awards as a composer and in 1997 he gained First Prize in the second Prokofiev International Composing Competition in Moscow for his virtuoso Toccata for piano (written for his friend, Marc-André Hamelin). His works have been heard in over fifteen countries worldwide, broadcast on both sides of the Atlantic, issued extensively on CD and published by four major houses in the UK. His monumental Organ Symphony Christus was described in the national press in 1992 as one of the most important organ works of our century, and again in The Times in 1999 as an astonishingly original composition, compelling in its structural logic and exhilarating in performance: a stupendous achievement’.  In the same year and in the same columns his oratorio A Song on the End of the World, named after a Czeslaw Miłosz poem from Nazi-occupied Warsaw and written as the last pre-millennial Elgar Commission of the Three Choirs Festival at Worcester, was hailed as thrilling, apocalyptic and profoundly affecting. His piano music is extensively championed by the Russian-Canadian virtuoso, Alexander Tselyakov, and his organ works by the acclaimed British artist, Jeremy Filsell. In 1997  was awarded First Prize in the second S.S.Prokofiev International Composing Competition, held in Moscow
Francis Pott remains active as a pianist and accompanist when other responsibilities allow it, uniting this with both composition and academic research. 

Is Art a Sin?  2004  (Fand Music)
Well - not quite a palindrome, but move the letters of the title a bit around, and you will almost get the words a Sinistra (to the left).
About this piece Francis Pott wrote -  and I quote from Fand Music's Album with permission: The answer to the title is both a loud negative and a complete irrelevance. The question is an anagram of "a sinistra" (to the left in Italian) A partiality to anagrams afflicts the composer who once spent a decade in a cathedral choir enduring "ordeal by pulpit".
Needless to say, as Carter. (There is, however an excellent British concert pianist of that name, just as there is a illustrious soprano by the name "Fuga"). Had they joined forces it would have become necessary to write a longer work entitled "to Carter and Fuga" [Toccata and fugue.].
The piece is a brief but eventful rampage, prompted in part by a phrase in the composer's mind's ear: "I'd give my right arm to play that" (it is, nonetheless exceedingly doubtful that anybody would). Difficulty aside, a good test of whether something is reasonably conceived for the left hand alone is whether it lies less naturally for two hands together than the domestic cheat would expect. Another is whether the supposedly great (but possibly rather average) Paul Wittgenstein would have disliked it, since he appears to have loathed almost everything for his surviving left arm since the Great War [WW I], and to have said so loudly enough for a number of highly significant composers (always a touchy lot) to take strident offence in return.
With both these criteria, "Is Art a Sin?" seems to pass muster. Two hands do not make lighter work (the right being generally the wrong way round for the arpeggiated and other contours which are to be found). And, yes: it seems an odds-end certainly that Wittgenstein (scarcely less abrasive than his philosopher brother - on his day, comfortably up there among the rudest half-dozen men in the twentieth century) would have put all his formidable energy into detesting it.
FP.

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Henri Pousseur  Belgian composer

(Malmedy, 23.06.1929,  – Brussels, 06.03.2009)

Pousseur was the major avant-garde composer of Belgium. To begin with he studied at the Academies of Music in Liège and Brussels from 1947 to 1953 where he was closely associated with Pierre Froidebise and André Souris. Through this he came in contact with Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Luciano Berio which led him to devote himself to avant-garde-research. Around 1960 he worked closely together with Michel Butor on a number of projects e.g. Votre Faust.
As a teacher he worked in Brussels, Cologne, Basel and, SUNY, Buffalo; USA and the University and Conservatory of Liège where he founded Centre de recherches et de formation musicales de Wallonie.
Generally he was regarded as a member of the Darmstadt School in the 1950s, Pousseur's music employs serialism, mobile forms, and aleatory, often mediating between or among seemingly irreconcilable styles, such as those of Schubert and Webern (Votre Faust), or Pousseur's own serial style and the protest song "We shall overcome" (SIC!).

Litanie du Cristal des Fleur pour piano, main gauche seule  (1984)  (Edizioni Suvini Zerboni, Milano, S. 11617 Z)
 

Tango de Jeanne-la-Sibylle pour piano, main gauche seule  (2002)  (Edizioni Suvini Zerboni, Milano, S.12055 Z)

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(No portrait)

 

Ciao Stefani D'Aragona Malheiro Prado  Brazilian composer

? -? (20th century)

Etude de Concert No. 8 (Asturias
This etude is a transcription of Isaac (Manuel Francisco) Albéniz's Asturias. It is somewhat unlike the original piano version since it is a transcription of the transcription for guitar (at first transcribed by
Severino García Fortea, but it is Andrés Segovia's transcription which gained most popularity)  - and available on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Q4YDEhx3yA

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Luis Prado  Puerto Rican - American composer

Born: San Juan, 1968

Prado was raised in  San Juan, Puerto Rico to a illustrious family of poets and began his musical studies at the age of twelve with Héctor Ledoux. Under his guidance Prado progressed so rapidly that he (1984)  played Mozart's Piano Concerto KV 488 with the Chamber Orchestra of Puerto Rico.
The same year he entered the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico as a piano student and joined the Orquesta de Cámera Padre Antonio Soler which was directed by Ignacio Morales Nieva who insisted that Prado's compositions were played at their regular concerts.
In 1986 he won the First Prize at the Jesús Maria Sanromá Piano Competition at this institution with a performance of Beethoven's third piano concerto conducted by Maestro Roselin  Pabón.
Three years later Prado moved to Philadelphia to study composition with Joseph Castaldo and piano with Susan Starr - receiving his first commission for string orchestra. This work, Elegy for the Vessels on an Unknown Course received great critical acclaim. The same year he attended the Casals Festival in Prades premiering his Meditation with the violinist Saskia Lethiec.
In 1993 entered the Curtis Institute of Music to stdy with the composer Ned Rorem winning the Alfredo Casella Award and a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1996 his one-act opera The Nightingale (after Oscar Wilde's short story) was premiered at the Curtis Opera Studio and repeated the following year in Philadelphia, New York and the following year in Puerto Rico. His first piano trio, Esculturas  received its premiere in Carnegie Hall in 1998 and was repeated in Auditorium du Louvre in Paris in March 1999.

Piano Concerto for Left Hand
The concerto is written for Gary Graffman and was premiered by him with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia conducted by  Ignat Solzhenitsyn receiving favourable acclaim by the New York Times as Inspired, moving and very beautiful.

Gary Graffman performing Prado's
piano concerto for the left hand

Biography etc is gathered from Mr. Pado's Home Page

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(No portrait)

 

Carl Adolph Preyer  German /American pianist and composer

Pforzheim, Baden, 28.07.1863 - 1947)

Preyer began his education at the Stuttgart Conservatory but later moved - first to Vienna to become a pupil of K. Navratil and then to Berlin to study with Professors Heinrich Urban (1837-1901) and  Karl Henrich Barth (1847-1922).
After having finished his training Preyer  decided to try his luck in Amerika where he settled in Kansas City, Kansas. In 1887 he married a Miss Grace Haven, in 1893 he was made professor of piano and composition, and in 1915 associate dean of the School of Fine Arts, University of Kansas. In 1919 he married again to a Miss Haven - only this time by the name of Francis.
His works are mostly for the piano - including Variationen über ein eigenes Thema op. 32, a Sonata in C-sharp minor op. 33, Dialogue without Words and Toccata op. 36, Three Pieces   op. 40, a Scherzo in B-flat minor and numerous studies for technique, rhythm and expression. Apart from these Preyer became known as composer of songs, among which are: I Love My Love, Childhood, My Love's Like a Red, Red Rose, Elusion, Snow Song and Spanish Song.
He remained a faculty member for 56 years and in one of the campus buildings, the Murphy Hall there is a Crafton-Preyer Theatre, named after him (and Jesse Allen Crafton, founder of the Department of Speech and Drama), which is used for Plays, musicals, opera and concerts.

12 Etuden op.45  (Schmidt)

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Sergej (Sergejevich) Prokofiev   Russian composer and pianist

Sontsovka, Ekaterinoslav, 23.04.1891 - Moscow, 04.04.1953

Already at the age of six he showed remarkable talents playing piano very well and already composing - at first small pieces but by the age of nine he finished his first opera and three more were to follow in course of the next 2-3 years.
By 1902 he was receiving lessons from Reinhold Glière and the he entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory as pupil of Rimsky-Korsakov, Anatol Liadov, Joseph Wihtol, and Alexander Tcherepnin (theory and composition). At the same time he attended Annette Essipow's piano class, where he was considered one of her most brilliant pupils.
He left the conservatory in 1914 with the Rubinstein prize and at the same time creating a scandal. Instead of playing a classical he chose his own piano concerto nr. 1 in D major (which in fact had already been premiered at that time). This caused a great deal of commotion among the professors but due to his stubbornness it was finally allowed on the condition that each professor was given a copy of the score. Soon after compositions of importance began to flow from his pen; Schythian Suite, Classical Symphony etc. Prokofiev's years of travels began in 1918: England, Japan, USA and from 1922 he made Paris his home.



Prokofiev at the upright piano

But five years later he was back in Russia thus satisfying his longing for his native country but at the same time reluctantly placing himself under the so-called artistic judgment of Andrej Zdanov and Josef Stalin which became more and more intolerable to him. Fortunately he was allowed to travel and in that way kept the contacts he had made in Western Europe, where he was considered a major composer and artist.
Although a very prolific composer his main works (beside 7 symphonies, 5 piano concertos, 2 violin concertos, 8 piano sonatas etc.) are his works for the theatre: Ballets, operas and incidental music.
Anyway Prokofiev managed to keep a certain balance (as did Schostakovich, Miaskowsky and Khatchaturian) in such a way that he did not end up as a Party Pet writing inferior music for inferior people.

Andrej Zdanov - a cultural dictator 
of the most dangerous kind. From 
c.1948 his word decided the fate 
of all the Soviet composers.

Piano concerto nr. 4 in B flat major op. 53 1931 (Boosey)
The whole concept of Profofiev writing a concerto for Wittgenstein was almost doomed from the very beginning. Wittgenstein knew Profofiev very well and can hardly have had much sympathy for the majority of his works. At the same time Prokofiev knew Wittgenstein and his attitude to the music of the 20th century, so one must ask oneself - why was this concerto commissioned at all.
Well - first of all: Wittgenstein was caught in the musical situation at that time. Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms were all dead - so if he was going to have any works written for him it would be by the contemporary composers - but he probably had a keen eye for what was going on too. 
Prokofiev had just written his 3rd piano concerto which by many was considered his greatest - so it would be natural to imagine a new master piece in a tonal language just as acceptable at that of this concert. 
It must also have been some kind incitement that Prokofiev was known as a piano virtuoso himself - here was a composer who knew everything about piano playing himself whereas Ravel only was a moderate piano player.



Prokofiev - by
Matisse  

Wittgenstein never played the concerto but it has wrongly been said that he refused to do so - like he did with Hindemith's concerto. What he said was: Even a concerto Prokofiev has written for me I have not yet played because the inner logic of the work is not clear to me and, of course I can't play it until it is.
Whether Wittgenstein ever made a serious attempt to find this inner logic is another matter and probably doubtful - and the concerto was given its premiere in Berlin on September 5th 1956 by another left-hand pianist and WW II invalid, Siegfried Rapp (from Weimar) with great success and the US premiere followed one and a half year later with Rudolf Serkin and with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy. 
But even though the concerto laid unperformed for 25 years Prokofiev and Wittgenstein remained on very friendly terms as their correspondence over the matter bear witness to.

The concerto is recorded by many f.ex.
Vladimir Ashkenazy: Decca 452 588-2
and Siegfried Rapp: BERLIN Classics ETERNA

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